Third Sector Forum

The Third Sector Forum East Ayrshire is part of the East Ayrshire Third Sector Interface (TSI).  A Scottish Government Initiative, TSIs exist in each local authority area to provide a coherent mechanism of support to Third Sector organisations and ensure the sector is engaged at a strategic level with the Community Planning Partnerships (CPP).

East Ayrshire’s TSI is a partnership arrangement between Council for Voluntary Organisations (East Ayrshire) and  Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire.  Together these organisations fulfil the first three aims of the TSI:

  • Support voluntary organisations in their local area
  • Develop and support social enterprise
  • Promote and support volunteering


Third Sector Forum Mission

The Third Sector Forum East Ayrshire’s mission is to connect the Third Sector to Community Planning and other key partners and ensure that the Third Sector contributes to making East Ayrshire a better place to live and work for all communities and residents of East Ayrshire.

The Forum is the collective voice of the Third Sector, securing representation for strategic groups in East Ayrshire and coordinating existing work.  It does not itself deliver services but seeks to create an environment where Third Sector organisations can work effectively and fulfil their potential.

Third Sector Forum Aims

  • Provide a coherent, collective voice for the Third Sector and strengthen engagement between the Third Sector and Community Planning Partners;
  • Create a place and structure for strategic dialogue with Third Sector agencies and other partners in East Ayrshire;
  • Increase the Third Sector’s input in key areas of public policy in East Ayrshire and impact on the delivery of public services;
  • Increase awareness of the impact which the work of the Third Sector has on the citizens of East Ayrshire and on the single outcome agreement through the collation of impact assessment surveys;
  • Identify and highlight support needs of Third Sector organisations to the Third Sector Interface East Ayrshire in order to ensure an effect appropriate support and representation.

Third Sector Forum Objectives

  • Act as a hub, providing a mechanism both for sharing information throughout the sector and for collecting the views of the sector and highlighting issues faced by East Ayrshire communities;
  • To be a contact point for the public sector at a regional, strategic level;
  • Offer mutual support through events, meetings and communications in order to have a positive impact on the lives of East Ayrshire’s residents and communities;
  • Enable partnership working;
  • Promote and connect the work of the Forum to the core Third Sector Interface to ensure representation and consultation

Structure of the Forum

The CVO(EA) Ltd will facilitate and govern the Forum, taking responsibility for the day to day working of the Forum and its administration, sharing and collation of information across the sector and supporting Forum representatives.


A Steering Group was established in July 2014 to assist with the establishment of the Third Sector Forum in East Ayrshire and to support initial growth and development and to undertake representation where required on forums, partnerships  The Steering Group is representative of a variety of sectors from organisations of varying size to ensure equitable representation.   The Steering Group comprises of the following;

Barnardos Scotland – Fiona Bennett, Assistant Director Children’s’ Services

Citizens Advice Bureau (pending – new appointment)

East Ayrshire Advocacy Service – Irene Clark, Manager

East Ayrshire Carers Centre – Jane Smith, Chief Executive Officer

Partners for Inclusion/DM2 – Linda Graham, Development Co-ordinator

PEACE Childcare – Catherine Whiteside, Services Manager

The Zone – Elaine Stewart, Project Manager

The Steering Group was established to meet a specific demand, ie. to assist with the establishment of the Third Sector Forum in East Ayrshire and to support initial growth and development,  therefore no rotational arrangements are in place.

Membership of the Forum

All independent Third Sector organisations, with or without a constitution may join the Forum and as such can attend Forum events, receive Forum information, updates and participate in Forum consultations, surveys, responses etc. Please contact Lucy Gordon for more information.

Definition of terms

Third Sector: For the purposes of the Forum and its membership, we describe Third Sector organisations as being: for social purpose; non-profit distributing; constitutionally independent from the state and from the central and local government; and self-governing.

TO JOIN: Contact